I. “THOMAS WAS NOT WITH THEM”
A. John 20:24
When Jesus presented Himself alive to the apostles following His resurrection (19-23), Thomas was absent. We don’t know why He was wasn’t there; he just wasn’t. We do know what He missed: the opportunity for His faith to be established. This apostle, who was otherwise as stalwart as any, is forever remembered as “Doubting Thomas” because of what he missed the one time he was absent.
B. Hebrews 3:13
Even one absence interferes with the disciple’s ability to exhort the brethren and be exhorted by them. Consider that the message preached may have been exactly what you were needing to hear.
C. 1st Thessalonians 5:11
Missing just once interrupts the Christian’s need to comfort and edify the congregation and receive the same in return. Think how a comment from another student in class may have changed your view on an important subject.
D. Colossians 3:16
Not showing up that one time prevents the church member from teaching and admonishing the others by singing or receiving admonition from them. Imagine how your voice could have strengthened the songs.
E. James 5:16
Being absent just once limits your ability to pray for the brethren. Some sin may have been confessed, or some urgent need or serious ailment may have been announced that the church is praying for, but not you because you weren’t there.
F. 2nd Corinthians 13:12
Forsaking on one occasion means you cannot greet the brethren or receive greetings from them. You need that contact regularly. Don’t skip it.
II. “AFTER EIGHT DAYS”
A. John 20:26
The Hebrew method of time calculation was inclusive, such that a certain day one week until the same day the next week was counted as eight, rather than seven, days. Accordingly, “eight days” meant one week.
B. John 20:1, 18-23
It was “the first day of the week” that Jesus arose and first appeared to the apostles. “After eight days”, therefore, was also the first day of the week. Even before the church was established, the disciples were coming together on the first day of the week.
C. Acts 20:7; 1st Corinthians 10:16
Early Christians came together on the first day “to break bread”, meaning to eat the Lord’s Supper in memory of Christ’s body and blood. We must do likewise.
D. 1st Corinthians 16:1-2
Churches received orders to take up the collection on the first day. We should imitate them.
E. Hebrews 10:24-25
Like the early disciples, Christians today should assemble regularly.
III. “‘REACH YOUR FINGER HERE, AND LOOK…’”
A. John 20:27, 25
Jesus responded to Thomas’ doubt by inviting him to see and touch His body for confirmation that He had risen from the dead.
B. Luke 24:36-40; 1st John 1:1-4
He made the same offer on another occasion and John affirmed that he and his fellow apostles had taken Jesus up on the offer. They were eyewitnesses, and ear-witnesses, and hand-witnesses to the resurrection! It’s a great idea to use every sense available to ascertain needed information.
C. Romans 10:14, 17; Ephesians 3:4; Deuteronomy 17:18-20
God’s word is to be learned by employing the auditory (Mark 4:23), visual (John 20:30-31), and even tactile senses—hearing it, reading it, and even writing it down. Using every available faculty really lets the information sink in.
IV. “‘MY LORD AND MY GOD!’”
A. John 20:28
Once Thomas beheld Christ he was convinced.
B. John 1:1, 14
Jesus is God in the flesh.
C. John 9:38
He received worship. Unlike Peter (Acts 10:25-26), Paul (Acts 14:11-15), and the angels (Revelation 20:10; 22:8-9), He did not refuse worship. Unlike Herod Acts 12:21-23), He was not punished for accepting worship.
D. John 10:30
He claims unity with the Father, not oneness in that they are indistinct from one another, but oneness as husband and wife are one (Genesis 2:24)—commonality of purpose and function.
V. “‘BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HAVE NOT SEEN AND YET HAVE BELIEVED’”
A. John 20:29, 25
Jesus allowed Thomas to confirm his faith, but contrasts his doubt with the genuine faith of those who will believe without sight.
B. Hebrews 11:1; 2nd Corinthians 5:7
Skeptics say, “Seeing is believing”, but Christians know that truly believing requires no sight at all. Indeed, faith replaces the physical sense.
C. 1st Peter 1:8-9
Real faith happens without first seeing. If the salvation of our souls is the goal of faith, the end of faith, then we are willing to wait until the end to see.
By Bryan Matthew Dockens
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